By Shehan Jeyarajah
A day after losing two games to No. 16 Louisiana in a double-header, No. 14 Baylor looked to regain their mojo offensively in a midweek game against UTSA in San Antonio. The Bears were able to do just that in a 7-1 victory over the in-state rivals on Wednesday night.
“We needed to play a solid game and get all our pitchers some work,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “Everyone saw time and that was important as we head into our Big 12 series with Kansas.”
Baylor jumped on the Roadrunners early and often. Junior right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann hit a leadoff single and freshman second baseman Ari Hawkins added a single of her own to put runners on first and second. Senior catcher Clare Hosack then reached on a fielder’s choice to advance Thumann to third and Hosack stole second.
In the next at-bat, senior first baseman Holly Holl reached on a fielder’s choice to score Thumann and advance Hosack to third. Junior shortstop Jordan Strickland added a sacrifice fly to score Hosack and give Baylor a quick 2-0 lead after the first inning.
After fanning three straight UTSA batters in the bottom of the first, Baylor continued their offensive surge. Sophomore third baseman Sarah Smith reached base on a throwing error and freshman left fielder Christy Lisenby reached on a fielder’s choice, but Smith was called out.
Freshman center fielder Lindsey Cargill hit a single to advance Lisenby to second and Thumann reached on a fielder’s choice to advance Lisenby to third. Hawkins then hit an RBI single to left to score Lisenby and give the Bears a 3-0 lead.
UTSA finally put pressure on the Bears in the bottom of the fourth. Junior third baseman Vivian Tijerina singled up the middle and sophomore catcher Tess Soefje was hit by a pitch on a poor delivery from senior pitcher Liz Paul to put runners on first and second. At that point, Baylor coach Glenn Moore swapped Paul for senior ace Whitney Canion. Sophomore outfielder Jade Smith singled, and a run scored after an error from Hawkins, but Canion struck out one and forced freshman infielder Taylor Oberg to hit a pop fly to end the inning with the deficit cut to 3-1. It was all Baylor from there. Thumann led off the fifth with a single and stole second. Hawkins added a single to advance Thumann to third and also promptly stole second to put runners on second and third with no outs. Hosack grounded out to second, but Thumann came in to score on the play. Holl added a sacrifice fly to score Hawkins and give Baylor a 5-1 lead after five.
Junior Sarah Crockett came in to pinch hit and singled in the sixth, which set up a two-run home run by sophomore pinch-hitter Robin Landrith to give Baylor a commanding 7-1 lead that they would ride to victory. Sophomore pitcher Heather Stearns also made an appearance in the final inning.
Canion picked up the win after posting 2.2 scoreless innings and allowing only one hit and striking out five of the nine batters she faced. UTSA starter Chelsea Parker earned a loss after allowing nine hits and six earned runs in six innings against the Bears.
Thumann and Hawkins both continued their hot streaks against the Roadrunners. The duo, who bat first and second, combined to go 6-for-8 with three runs scored. Landrith’s home run was her second of the year.
Baylor will have Thursday off before starting a three-game weekend series against Kansas at Getterman Stadium.